Group announces the formation of the first nation in space and is looking for people to join.
The chairman of UNESCO’s Science of Space committee and founder of the Aerospace International Research Center (AIRC), Igor Ashurbeyli, says the group has invented the first new space nation, and hopes to get enough people to sign up to have the United Nations recognize the nation as a member, according to a story on popsci.com.
Naming the proposed nation Asgardia, after the mythical Norse city in the sky, Asgard, the goal of the group is to open up space development to all nations on Earth, and establish an off-Earth residence for all, regardless of country of origin or religious beliefs. The group hopes humanity can function peaceably in the space nation, unencumbered by political disputes and boundaries.
Anyone who is over the age of 18 and has a valid e-mail address has the opportunity to sign up to be a member of the nation, but there are currently no definite plans to actually send anyone into space. Over 4,900 have already signed up, according to the article. And according to Ashurbeyli, you can keep your Earthly citizenship as well.
“When the number of those applications goes above 100,000 we can officially apply to the UN for the status of state,” continued the group’s leader, Ashurbeyli.
It doesn’t seem likely that will happen anytime soon, because normally to be recognized as a state by the UN, you would need to own territory, and have a population living in that territory. The nation would also have to set up a functioning government, a goal which the AIRC has said it plans to do at some point in the future.
Still, as private companies continue to invest in space travel, the possibilities long-term are there.
Frans von der Dunk, who studies space law at the University of Nebraska, says there is nothing in the Outer Space Treaty that would prevent the nation from forming, but actually claiming territory in space could be problematic.
But, added von der Dunk, “I admire people who dare to dream, and sometimes you need people to go out of the box and start something.”